Blog

Into the West: One pack of Color I Type Polaroid Film

I am not ready to write about my recent road trip yet. I am just barely back; the journey is still percolating through my senses. Very little has registered besides the fact that I am home, that there are tasks to do, that my brain is mostly suspended in some kind of in-between place right now. But I promised myself I would make one blog post a week happen, so here I am!

What I am sharing with you today is one pack of color Polaroid Originals I-type film, shot with my One Step 2 camera. It is the last pack of instant film I exposed on this year's Big Trip; it was the last pack of instant film that I had brought with me. It also represents the next to last day of the trip: our final day in New Mexico (for now. I need to always add that caveat).

into the west Santa Fe 2019 Polaroid color (4 of 4).jpg

It began in Santa Fe, led us down the Turquoise Trail, and into Albuquerque, then came blastoff time down I-40 to Amarillo. All familiar places, the experience of which is generating a kernel in my mind. . . . something about the familiar - delving deeper - scratching a bit more than just the surface of a place. When something is familiar, you can start to dig in & explore. Your view can expand beyond first impressions. Appreciation can deepen; there's always more to see than initially meets your eye. But I will come back to this idea a little further down the road, when all the roll film is developed and scanned, and I have some time to digest the results in addition to the experience itself.

into the west Santa Fe 2019 Polaroid color (3 of 4).jpg

I love Santa Fe. You could drop me off there with a camera and leave me to wander for 4 or 5 days just photographing quite happily: to my eyes it is such a beautiful, photogenic city. I was thrilled to return there again; we even ended up staying in the same motel. We were up and out early, and the light was gorgeous. I doubt that comes through very well through these instant photos, but the memory of it is a happy one for me.

into the west Santa Fe 2019 Polaroid color (2 of 4).jpg

We made a visit to the Georgia O’Keefe museum that morning, bookending the time we had just spent in Abiquiu, walking some of the same streets as the year before. I was delighted to see the morning sun on this building, which I remembered well.

into the west Santa Fe 2019 Polaroid color (1 of 4).jpg

From Santa Fe we headed down the Turquoise Trail, another well loved familiar place. I was super excited, as close to the edge of my seat as I could get in the truck. We stopped at Cerrillos (Los Cerrillos?), which we had not visited before. I made a lot of photographs there with other cameras that I am hoping turn out well; the church in particular really pulled me in, with so many interesting lines and shadows (and lovely little grottos).

into the west Los Cerillos 2019 Polaroid color (1 of 1).jpg

Next stop was Albuquerque’s Old Town, with the specific purpose of visiting a couple of shops there, but it was nice to see it again. I noticed new things about it this time, things I had either not taken the time to see or simply overlooked before. (This doorway wasn’t crooked; parallax error on the viewfinder, and undoubtedly user error as well, provided the tilt.)

into the west Old Town Albuquerque 2019 Polaroid color (1 of 1).jpg

The final stretch that day was on I-40, a fast flat highway that flies through many historic towns that boast Route 66 fame. Last year we visited all the iconic stretches; this year we motored on through. But there were pit stops, under glorious New Mexico skies, bathed in glorious New Mexico light. My obsession lives on. . . . .